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Gulf Power coal generation share falls to 17.5% in January: filing

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Gulf Power coal generation share falls to 17.5% in January: filing

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Coal burn at 93,432 st in January

Stockpile at 16 days cover

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  • Tyler Godwin
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  • Richard Rubin
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Houston — Gulf Power saw its coal generation share fall to 17.5% in January, down from 31.6% in December and 27.6% in the year-ago month, according to a state regulatory filing.

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Coal burn was at 93,432 st in January, which generated 151,160 MWh of power, down from 209,243 st in December, or 142,323 MWh. However, the burn was up from 88,593 st, or 170,821 MWh, in the year-ago month, according to a filing published Feb. 23 by the Florida Public Service Commission.

Natural gas' mix was at 81.2%, or 698,726 MWh, in January, up from 66.1% in December and 71.8% in the year-ago month.

In January, Gulf Power's average fuel cost for coal was $48.84/st, up from $26.10/st in December, but down from $65.56/st in the year-ago month.

Heat rate efficiency for coal was at 10,666 Btu/KWh in January, while gas was at 8,140 Btu/KWh, resulting in dispatch prices of roughly $30.50/MWh and $24.40/MWh, respectively. In December, coal's dispatch price was $37.70/MWh and gas' price was $23.10/MWh, while in the year-ago month, coal was at $34/MWh and gas at $18.30/MWh.

Gulf Power owns the Crist coal-fired power plant in Pensacola, Florida, as well as a 50% ownership of Mississippi Power's Daniel plant in Escatawpa, Mississippi and a 25% stake in one generating unit at Georgia Power's Scherer plant in Juliette, Georgia.

Coal purchases fall on month

Excluding the Scherer plant, Gulf Power purchased 71,681 st of coal in January at an average price of $43.28/st, down from 79,666 st at $58.33/st in December and 91,870 st at $65.47/st in the year-ago month.

The utility also bought $1.27 million worth of coal for the Scherer plant in January at an average cost of $2.71/MMBtu, compared with $1.06 million worth of coal at $5.26/MMBtu in December and $1.19 million, or $2.76/MMBtu, in the year-ago month.

At the end of January, Gulf Power's coal stockpile, excluding the Scherer plant, was at 261,501 st, or 16 days cover, compared with 283,252 st, or 18 days cover, after December, and 524,495 st, or 33 days cover, at the end of January 2020.

The Scherer plant has 79 days of supply at the end of January, up from 69 days after December and 64 days at the end of the year-ago month.